[Refashion] I had a jumper. Now I have a dress. And a skirt.

Jumper Refashion Dress Header

I must confess, I’m in a pretty bad sew-jo slump at the moment. I mean, I still love sewing, and I still am thinking about new projects all the time. It’s just that everything I touch lately turns into dust, or in this case, rubbish bin fodder. Maybe because I get so little sewing time as my sewing room has found an alternative use as a study room for my ever so clever fiance who is working on his ever so complicated masters degree. And when I do, I am so desperate to get something completeted that I end up rushing, not thinking before I cut and in general being very gung-ho about my projects. The quality suffers and I get frustrated. Not good at all for perfectionists…

Therefore, a disclaimer: what I am putting in front of your critical eyes right now is definitey not my best work, but it was an idea I wanted to try out and was fairly quick to make. Maybe it will inspire you to make something similar, only much better, I’m sure.

So, I had this jumper that I got a million years ago when I was still in Romania, from an American mail order catalogue that was very well loved back then and now for it’s appealing ‘Angels’. I wore it to death, then I passed it on to my sister who wore it during two pregnancies (it has a sort of empire waist silhouette that allowed for waist increase). When I was visiting her after Christmas, she passed on a load of stuff for me to be loved again, among them was said jumper. It was definitely heading for the charity shop, but then I had the idea that I could breathe some life into it by turning it into something else.


As I was saying, I got a bit excited about this project and cut into it before I remembered to take some proper ‘Before’ pictures, but I hope you get the idea of what the jumper looked like to start with.

The project was to keep the upper bodice part and take the flouncy lower one off, as well as the turtle neck collar, then add a skirt to make it a dress. Easy peasy!

I had a piece of 4 way stretch lycra in my stash that would suit, so nothing stopping really me this one Monday evening!


I wanted a skirt that would not be too full or gathered, to elongate my waist without making me look like I might be expecting. So I drafted a simple A-line skirt to match the circumference of the lower part of the now cropped top.


I cut front and back from the same piece of pattern and overlocked them together. There was a bit of a trial and error, as the angle was as bit too sharp and was hanging a bit oddly, so I had to recurve the lower and, but it came together in the end.


Then I joined the bodice and the skirt, also by overlocker. I am not very pleased with the actual seam, as it got a bit crinkly, but I think I might be able to get away with it as a sort of a design feature. I then overlocked the neckline (and again, with hind sight, I should have put some stabilising tape, as the fabric is ridiculously stretchy) and then turned and topstitched.

It took about 2h to put together and only because I was faffing with making the pattern in for the skirt.



And then I had a mad idea to make something out of the remaining fabric and this is what came out of it. Ok, I cheated a bit,a s I didn’t have enough purple knit, but I still count it. How I almost threw it in the bin a few times is a story for part two.

But I still had some pieces left lover (remember the lower end of the jumper and the collar). So in the spirit of reuse, I wanted to make a skirt of some sorts out of it. This has been on my mind for a few weeks (the dress was ready since the end of January), but I didn’t want to post it without the full story.So with the blog post planning breathing down my neck, I spend last Sunday trying to make that blasted skirt.


Man, did I make my life complicated or what?? Turns out I didn’t have enough fabric to make even the miniest of skirts, not even a belt-skirt. So I improvised. I had left-over wool like stuff from my Ikea blankets projects (see here and here) and decided to improvise some sort of patch-work. Now, I do have to apologise in advance to the real quilters out there. Probably if I ever had one, I should have my membership suspended here and now, as I made a bit of a dog’s breakfast out of it. Not the straightest lines here, but the purple fabric was already wonky from the original knitting and the white and grey ones unravelled like nobody’s business. I will come back with the whole story in a future post, but just wanted to show you the other item I ended up making from the original jumper (sort of).

So I’ll leave you with that promise and here’s hoping the sew-jo is going to be back soon!

Happy sewing!



  1. that makeover purple dress is amazing! It has nothing to do with the fact that you are as cute as I have ever seen. Love the hair and the earrings, but really love the dress!


  2. The dress looks lovely and the skirt is a clever idea. It’s so frustrating when we put a heap of time and energy into a project for it to end up in the bin. Not surprised you’re fed up, but it will improve. Is there somewhere else you can go to sew and have a bit more time – maybe have a sewing evening with a sewing friend?


    1. Thanks, Bekki! I do love the skirt, though it’s not perfect though. Because of the lining I used, it ended up a bit tight, so I have to shed a few pounds before I can wear it comfortably. But I just like when I get an idea in my head and it sort of comes out alright in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know the disappointment of sewing something only to dislike it after because it feels like guilt, but you know that most clothing ends up in landfill without any attempts to rescue or use it, so it’s just part of the process of knowing what not to do next time. When I was in barcelona, the oxfam shop only sold new items (their own brand), I think charityshops and recycling of clothes is less popular in some places, what a shame. Every time you blog refashioning it puts recycling on the radar for people who don’t necessarily want to sew from a paper pattern. Anyway this dress is adorable and looks comfortable too, a ‘want to wear’.


    1. Thank you! I do quite like it, but not sure when I’ll actually get to wear it. Might give it back to my sister in the new format :).
      I do love refashioning, that’s actually how my love for sewing really started, by chopping up my mum’s old clothes and having them sewn up in my local alteration shop, as I didn’t have a sewing machine. So thanks for commenting and your appreciation, and I do promise there will be more of these coming in the near future.


  4. Hey Alex, this is a fab idea to reuse an old jumper and refashion into a dress. I also like the patchwork skirt idea with all the different textures. Nice !


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